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Ingrid, 79, declared dead by Swedish tax authorities

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08:01 CET+01:00
79-year-old Ingrid Ståhl of Malmö in southern Sweden found out to her surprise that she had been registered as dead after a mistake by the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket).

Ingrid Stål and her husband have now been awarded 40,000 kronor ($5,400) in compensation for the error.

It was in March 2009 that an administrator at the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) was tasked with registering a person as deceased. A mix up in identification numbers meant that Ingrid Ståhl was entered erroneously as having died, while her husband was labelled a widower.

The couple only found out about the mishap in April when supermarket chain Ica and state gambling monopoly Svenska Spel got in touch to ask for the return of Ingrid's charge cards.

Ingrid Ståhl was also obliged to accept receipt of letters addressed to her estate.

The 79-year-old sought the help of a friend to contact the Tax Agency and point out that she was in fact very much alive.

The mistake could eventually be corrected but the bureaucracy took time and proved a significant strain on the elderly couple.

"It has been a terrible time. It is still tough, but we try to just let it go," Ingrid Ståhl told news agency TT.

The Chancellor of Justice has now ruled that the Tax Agency is to pay out 25,000 kronor to Ingrid Ståhl and a further 15,000 kronor to her husband to compensate for the mistake.

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